Millions of people all around the world are now desperately waiting to take a COVID-19 vaccine shot to put an end to the pandemic. But the completion of the vaccination program would take time and meanwhile, the Coronavirus will continue to attack people and take lives. But scientists may have found a solution to reduce mortality and accelerate the recovery time from the disease.
According to a new study, scientists found that an anti-cancer medicine could help to reduce mortality and speed up recovery after contracting the novel Coronavirus.
The small clinical study was published in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers found that the drug called "bevacizumab" may be helpful for patients suffering from the novel Coronavirus infection.
Healthcare experts have been using bevacizumab to treat various types of cancer since 2004. The drug slows down the formation of new blood vessels by preventing a growth factor known as VEGF.
Many COVID-19 patients have elevated levels of VEGF and symptoms associated with this marker, including excess fluid and jumbled blood vessels in the lungs. So, the researchers designed a clinical trial to investigate the effect of combining the medication with standard care for treating patients with severe Coronavirus infection. The study was carried out in Italy and China by the researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden between February and April 2020.
According to researcher Yihai Cao from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden: "Our findings suggest that bevacizumab plus standard care is highly beneficial for patients with severe Covid-19 and should be considered as a potential first-line therapeutic regimen for this group."
The researchers included 26 COVID-19 patients with symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, pneumonia and low blood oxygen levels. These trial participants were retrospectively matched with 26 patients of similar characteristics who received only standard care at the same hospitals in almost the same period.
Later it was found that by the end of the 28-day follow-up period, 92 percent of people who were given bevacizumab no longer required the same oxygen support as before the trial, compared to the 62 percent who did not receive the drug.
Researchers also noticed that none of the patients who received bevacizumab died during the trial, rather 65 percent of them, recovered from the disease and were able to leave the hospital within the follow-up period. In the case of the control group, three died and only 46 percent were discharged within 28 days. The small study also revealed that bevacizumab has helped to shorten the duration of oxygen-support to a median of nine days.
However, according to a separate report, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) is using EXO-CD24 Covid-19 treatment for Coronavirus affected patients. The healthcare professionals claimed that the hospital successfully treated 29 out of 30 moderate-to-severe cases during a phase I trial.